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Monthly Archives:July 2016

Paul Devitt at the World Champion’s Table Tennis Academy

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California, June 2017 – Yellowknife’s Paul Devitt is known for his love for Table Tennis. This time it brought him to the World Champion’s Table Tennis Academy in California, the home of US Men’s National Team player JHA Kanak and his coach Stefan Feth.

“Zhang, Li, Nan, and Stefan are great people and amazing coaches. They did an excellent job organizing the camp and showing me what I needed to focus on to improve my game” Paul shared about his experience at the Academy.


Coach Stefan was very impressed “He is a very nice guy and worked very hard.”

Additional coaches are Li Zhenshi und Zhang Li, each of them, 4 times World Champion in Table Tennis. “It was great,” Paul said, “I was especially impressed to see a picture of Li next to President Nixon as part of the Chinese National team that participated in the historic “Ping Pong diplomacy” initiative. That initiative helped establish diplomatic relations between the USA and China.”

Well done Paul!! Inspiring for us, seeing you improving your game, and representing the Northwest Territories with pride!

“And the winner is …” – 2016 Table Tennis North Award winner is known!

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The Board has decided to award Thorsten Gohl with the Volunteer and Coach of the Year Award for 2016.

“Thorsten has set the tone for Table Tennis North with his constant promotion of the sport through social media, newspaper and magazine features and special event coordination. He travels all around the north to provide training for athletes and coaches alike. He also happens to be the person organizing and running tournaments. He does it all!” said Jeremy Kielstra, President of Table Tennis North.

2016 Coach of the Year: Thorsten Gohl
2016 Volunteer of the Year: Thorsten Gohl

“It is very exciting to be in the Northwest Territories and promoting a great sport like Table Tennis. The Board has given me a lot of freedom and I am very excited that we have accomplished so much in just a short period of time” says the new Coach and Volunteer Administrator of the Year, Thor!

Congratulations and THANK YOU Thorsten!

Success, the 2017 Aurora Ford South Slave Table Tennis Open

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JBT Elementary School was a great host for this Arctic Winter Games test event. The staff and teachers were excited to host Table Tennis North and Aerobic Table Tennis during the week and in preparation for the event, we had a lot of helping hands.

Fort Smith, Fort Resolution, Fort Providence and Hay River participated in the games with a total of 18 Athletes over 2 days.

During the week Table Tennis North and MACA hosted an Officials and Coaching Clinic were a total of 19 participants got their first introduction to Community Table Tennis Coaching and Introduction to Officiating. Norman Tang, Board of Directors of Table Tennis Canada, came to host the Officials Clinic and was the Referee for the tournament.

Here are the results:

Junior singles: 1. Chris Canadian (Fort Providence) 2. Neilson Vandell (Fort Providence) 3. Dylan Hope (Fort Providence)
Senior Open: 1. Gordon (Fort Smith) 2. Magnus (Fort Smith) 3. Chris Canadian (Fort Providence)
Senior Women’s Open: 1. Beth Hudson (Fort Providence) 2. Shannon Bonnetrouge (Fort Providence) 3. Marina (Fort Providence)
Here are some great images from the tournament, check it out:

“I would like to participate in the tournament. Winning or loosing, it does not matter. As long as I have fun” said 9 year old Sheena who just started playing Table Tennis a few month ago. She was also the umpire for the finals of the Junior event.

JBT Elementary will be the host of the 2018 South Slave Arctic Winter Games for Table Tennis and we are excited about it. “It will definitely be one of the best events of the Games” says Executive Director Thor Gohl. And we believe him!

Congratulations to the winners of the Open and Women’s category of the 2017 Aurora Ford Sales South Slave Open as well as all the participants.

2017 Aurora Ford South Slave Open

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The 2017 Aurora Ford South Slave Open will be hosted from April 22nd to 23rd, 2017 at JBT Elementary School in Fort Smith. This will be an Arctic Winter Games test event, in the venue of the 2018 South Slave Arctic Winter Games.


Friday, April 21st 2017
6-10pm Table Tennis Canada Officials Clinic

Saturday, April 22nd 2017
10am Junior Event
01pm Senior Event

Sunday, April 23rd 2017
Skills Camp


Junior  (J18 – born 1999 or later)
Senior Open


$20 per player

Accommodation & Food

Let us know if you like to stay at the school.
Food will be provided.

Table Tennis Rules

Depending on participants, we will play best out of 3 or best out of 5. We will follow the rules of the International Table Tennis Federation. If you have any questions, please contact info@tabletennisnorth.ca and we will be happy to help you.

ITTF Rules: http://www.ittf.com/ittf_handbook/hb.asp?s_number=2

Deadline for registration is April 17th 2017. For registration, please send and e-mail to info@tabletennisnorth.ca with the following information: First Name, Last Name, Community, Birth Date and mention what 2 single categories and 1 double category you want to participate in. Also, please let us know if you want to stay at the school and/or want to eat at the school.

If you have any more questions, please contact info@tabletennisnorth.ca. Thank you! We are looking forward to seeing you in Fort Smith!!!

Table Tennis North in Minor Hockey news

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Table Tennis is growing in the Northwest Territories and with it is healthy living and being active. We have reached 13 communities so far and working on projects in the new fiscal year to reach even more. We have played Table Tennis with over 2,000 children in just the last 18 month. The word is out there, now it is time to manifest it, create leaders in communities and build a base.
We are very fortunate to have so much support from our partners, sponsors and the communities. Without that, we would be nothing. The media also plays a big role and next to being featured many times in local newspapers, we are very lucky to have had an article in UP HERE Magazine and in May 2017 we will be featured in Readers Digest Magazine as well.
Next up more clinics in the communities, preparations for the Arctic Winter Games and putting a Team NWT into place that will be able to compete in National events as well …
Check out the full article right HERE.

“The Power of Ping Pong” – Readers Digest

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A beautiful article by Elaine Anselmi from UP HERE.

A wonderful article to support our vision to promote and develop an active, healthy and fun environment with the sport of Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories.

One huge supporter of Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories is Principal of Deh Gah School in Fort Providence, Lois Phillip. “It’s about creating opportunities and creating a safe space,” says Lois. “A safe space where kids can be kids.” And that is what we are trying to do with Fort Providence, and also bring our multi seasonal sport into other communities, creating those same opportunities and fun, safe spaces. 

Once we reach the communities, it is about keeping involved. One hopes by being constant, being the role models that we can be, it will make a difference in their lives.  “I must say, I’m a dreamer and crazy sometimes,” Gohl says. “I said when I came here, in a year’s time, I want to do 20 communities.” He made his move to Fort Providence in September 2015, and while 20 may have been a lofty goal, he’s already hit 13.

We will definitely hit 20 communities by the end of our 2 year anniversary as a Territorial Sport Organization, but more important, we want to go back to those communities as much as we can, support them how ever possible, and see the sport grow in participation, with increased health and focus with time for all ages. 

“Table Tennis is becoming more than just something to do” is how the article ends and that is very true. We have seen an immense growth of participation and interest in the Sport of Table Tennis in the North and we are looking forward to more excitement in the future.

BUY the magazine or read our article right HERE.

ITTF featured post on NWT World Table Tennis Day

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An iconic venue, a splendid initiative was taken in Northern Territories, Canada to celebrate World Table Tennis Day on Thursday 6th April.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor


Organized by Thorsten Gohl, the man charged with promoting table tennis in the region, situated next to the Mackenzie River in Fort Simpson, the largest tepee in the world was the home for proceedings.

An iconic venue, a splendid initiative was taken in Northern Territories,c Canada to celebrate World Table Tennis Day on Thursday 6th April.

Organized by Thorsten Gohl, the man charged with promoting table tennis in the region, situated next to the Mackenzie River in Fort Simpson, the largest tepee in the world was the home for proceedings.

Check out the FULL ARTICLE.

Table Tennis Athlete Paul Devitt coming home with 2 Silver Medals

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“Back from my trip this week and people at each of the three venues I competed at could not have been friendlier or more helpful. As expected, I lost most games to better and more experienced players. Still, I had fun and gained valuable experience competing against players with many different styles, serves and racket types.“

Paul Devitt is on the way to improving his game over the last couple of years enjoying regular practices at home and at the Yellowknife Table Tennis Club.  Last year he also trained for two weeks in Hungary and is continuing to take lessons from expert coaches when traveling to southern Canada. This time he travelled to Alberta and Manitoba to participate in some of their local tournaments.

“Also, nice to hear from several Winnipeg players that my game has noticeably improved since I participated in the February Golden Boy” says Paul.

In Edmonton Paul played with team mate Lewis Cheung in the Team A U1500 category as well as the Doubles U2500 event. To his surprise and everyone else’s (including Lewis) they finished second in both events.

“Also no surprise, that I lost to the eventual winner Brian Ho in the first round of the Open Singles event (Brian is the best player in Alberta and finished second at a recent 2017 Butterfly Canada Cup Final).  However, I had fun as Brian was a great sport and at my request during one game told me in advance the spin he would use for each serve.”

It is so great seeing Athletes from the NWT participating in tournaments outside the NWT. It is not so easy to gain experience in a small Territory like ours, so competing where ever possible is the best way to learn.

Congratulations Paul!


Territories coming closer together

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The Yukon and the Northwest Territories came together in Whitehorse to discuss the continued future of Table Tennis in the North.

It all started with NWT Coach Thor Gohl, Yukon Coach Kevin Murphy and Aerobic Table Tennis’s Steve Rowe working together to give a total of seven Table Tennis Clinics in just one week. This included the Territorial Team, as well as three schools in Whitehorse. With Aerobic Table Tennis being the main focus, there was a lot of excitement and joy in the faces of the children and youth.  Over 1,000 students played, bringing them closer to the sport of Table Tennis, and having fun as they engaged in the physical activities. 

“We are small, but we are take the opportunities and possibilities that we have. Sometimes you have to think outside the box, and that is what we are doing here, trying to bring in programs like Aerobic Table Tennis and getting kids moving in a fun activity. A bonus is they are exposed to our sport and will maybe take it on. WIN WIN” Thor says with a smile.

Steve adds, “It’s always great to see the kids smiling, and more important huge territories coming together for a common goal. What an amazing week it has been!”

Here are some images from the clinics in Whitehorse. I think you will agree that Table Tennis can bring a lot fun into our lives. 

Dusk ’til Dawn Ping Pong Pajama Party Fundraiser

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Dusk til Dawn Purple Paisley Ping Pong Pajama Party Fundraiser  April 21, 2017

Prince inspired me to play Ping Pong again …and to raise money for Autism Society NWT! I’ve always loved the music of Prince and would have loved to see him live in concert, but living in the far north, I never got the chance. When he died suddenly last year on April 21st, I was devastated. So I made the pilgrimage to the tribute concert in Minneapolis last October and went to visit his recording studios at Paisley Park. Right there in the middle of the studio was his ping pong table! I packed up a racket and played table tennis for the first time in forty years!

When I came back to Fort Smith, I kept playing and promoting the game. Over the winter I got the idea to do a tribute to Prince on the anniversary of his death. He was all about music, dusk ‘til dawn dance parties, …and ping pong! He was also a quiet philanthropist who anonymously gave money to many charitable causes. One of the rare public charitable activities he did was to play several benefit concerts for Autism Rocks, a UK based foundation. So what better way to pay tribute to Prince than a Dusk til Dawn Ping Pong Pajama Party Fundraiser in support of our northern Autism Society NWT!

I’m so excited about the response from the community! People love the idea! It’s going to be rocking, with music, ping pong, and a celebration of the differences and the unique potential of all members of our community. The money we raise will stay in the north and go to support individuals and families living with autism spectrum disorder. Prince is loving it!

Lesley Paulette

Or text or phone at 867-872-0956

What a great event and an amazing idea. Check out the for more information!!!

All donations will go to NWT Autism Society.

Are you interested in Table Tennis in the Northwest Territories?